Like most of India, the food scene is rich in traditions and can differ from each region with distinct flavours and styles of cooking. The North is known for its Tandoori and Korma, whilst the south is predominately based around rice, stews and lentils. This is given to the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture and ethnic groups!
Rajasthani (where we explored) food has been influenced by the dearth of vegetables and water in this dry state. The use of dried lentils, beans, milk and buttermilk is common in cooking. Each region of Rajasthan has its own trademark dish. What I found most interesting (and lucky for me) was the majority of the dishes we ate were vegetarian!
The state is most famous for its Dal Bati Churma and Laal Maas! We were lucky enough to trial these popular yummy dishes. Here’s my top Indian food you have to try!
Related: Exploring Jaipur with Air Asia
Indian food you have to try!
Indians have experimented a lot with breads and are eaten with every meal! Some of the breads that are popular with Indian food include naan, paratha, tandoori roti, chapatti, etc
2. Traditional Lassi
Lassi is a traditional Indian beverage that is often served with an Ayurvedic lunch for its ability to aid in digestion. Made by blending yoghurt with water, and is sometimes spiced to balance the three doshas.
3. Rajasthan Dahl
The word dahl refers to a lentil stew and is a great vegetarian dish that is widely eaten in India. Made using spices and lentils with Rajasthan version is made using ghee and is traditionally served in a 3 dish combo known as Dal Baati Churma
4. Rajasthani Feast
A traditional Rajasthani thali depicts a brilliant assortment of curries, breads, pickles and desserts. Served on plates made from leaves and a traditional clay drinking vessel.
5. Butter Masala
Butter Chicken Masala is a tomato based curry and is extremely popular in India and is a favourite at home as well. The butter masala I tried in Jaipur was easily the best I have ever had!
Gulab jamun is made mainly from milk solids, traditionally from Khoa, which is milk reduced to the consistency of a soft dough. It is often served in syrup and garnished with dried nuts such as almonds to enhance the flavour.
Chaat is a broad term that refers to savoury snacks (usually potato) served at street food stalls throughout India. Although there are many different kinds of chaat, the original features fried bread or potatoes smothered in chilli, yoghurt, chickpeas, tamarind sauce, ginger, and plenty of spices.
8. Laal Maas
Laal maas literally means ‘red meat’, and gets its colour from the fiery red chillis (Yes it’s ridiculously hot!). In the predominantly vegetarian state, this is the most enjoyed non-vegetarian dish and was traditionally made with wild boar or deer.
9. Ker Sangri
Ker Sangri is a weird bean and berry combo unique to Rajasthan. This dish is more famous in the Marwad region of Rajasthan which is basically a dessert and nothing but these berries and beans grow in the sand.
A very unique flavour, buttermilk is made from the residual liquid which remains after butter is churned. It is both sweet and salty and is enjoyed for its health benefits. It contains vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium and has a high content of proteins and carbohydrates. Along with this, it is also rich in potassium, helps in boosting our immunity and aids digestion.
In India, chai is more than just a cup of tea to start the day – the delightfully spiced sweet drink is an integral part of the rhythm of life. Chai is made with cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorn, nutmeg, and cloves and traditionally was served in small clay pots, known as kulhar in Hindi.
A very famous side dish enjoyed in North India, helping to balance the power of spices and chilli. Riata is made from yoghurt, spices, lemon juice and either pineapple or cucumber.
Tip: Try an Indian Food Tour and experience a full culinary journey!
What is your favourite Indian Food? Let me know in the comments below!
I flew to Jaipur with Air Asia and was a guest as part of their inaugural flight. The media trip was a shared famil between Air Asia and Rajasthan Tourism. As always all opinions, photos and ideas remain my own.
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